13 September 2007

Ordinary and Ornamental Grass



Walked this morning around the campus of UC San Francisco. This campus, built in the industrial wasteland of the eastern part of the city, really only has been completed for a year. The campus landscape is largely decorated with oramental grasses--including, I think, Red Fountain Grass

But ordinary grasses grow as well in the vacant, trash-strewn lots next to the campus. Beautiful species of grass spring up among the junked stereos, hunks of concrete, and cans of paint. There seems to a great deal of wild oat, but also beautiful and tall Pampas grass. If you click on the photograph, you can see how toilet paper is dangling from the grass.

Though the grasses on campus are beautiful, they seem somehow too precious, too orderly for my taste. They are planted in great long rows and the stalks move about in the wind as if they were choreographed by an unseen conductor.

The grasses in the lot seem far more valiant, bringing beauty to a harsh landscape that few visit and fewer value.

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